Gilead Sciences announced a recall of two lots of COVID-19 drug remdesivir due to contamination from glass particulates. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Gilead Sciences announced a nationwide recall of 55,000 vials of its COVID-19 treatment drug remdesivir due to the "presence of glass particulates."
The U.S.-based biopharmaceutical firm said the two recalled lots of remdesivir, which is also known by the brand name Veklury, were limited to the United States, and no reports of adverse events had been reported in connection with the recalled vials.
Remdesivir is typically used for adults and children over age 12 whose COVID-19 infections require hospitalization. The drug is administered via intravenous infusion once a day for up to 10 days.
"Gilead Sciences Inc. received a customer complaint, confirmed by the firm's investigation, of the presence of glass particulates," the company's announcement said.
"An injectable product that contains glass particulates may result in local irritation or swelling in response to the foreign material. If the glass particulate reaches the blood vessels it can travel to various organs and block blood vessels in the heart, lungs or brain, which can cause stroke and even lead to death," the statement read.
Gilead spokesman Chris Ridley said the recall amounted to a total 55,000 vials of the drug, enough to treat 11,000 patients. Ridley said the recall would not affect supply of remdesivir, as there are plenty of uncontaminated vials available.
Remdesivir was given emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration in May 2020, and in October 2020 it became the first COVID-19 treatment to receive full approval from the FDA.